Pet Separation Anxiety in Skokie

After the kids go back to school, whether it’s to elementary school, high school, or college, your pet is left with a very dreary prospect: alone time in the house while you work. For some pets, particularly dogs, this can be too much, triggering a condition known as pet separation anxiety. This condition is not defined by a list of bad behaviors such as tearing up the couch and pillows or house soiling; it’s borne of your pet’s fear. Simply put, separation anxiety is akin to a panic attack. It does a number on your pet’s well-being, both mentally and in severe cases, physically, too. At Companion Animal Hospital of Skokie, we have some advice for you to help your pet better handle their alone time.

Pet Separation Anxiety in Skokie: A Cat Looking Out the Window

Tips for Reducing Pet Separation Anxiety

To help your pet cope, you need to help them associate good things with being left alone. There are several ways you can do this including:

  • Don’t make a fuss when you leave or come home. Prolonged farewells and exuberant greetings only reinforce your pet’s fear and anxiety around you leaving.
  • Give your pet a special treat in a food puzzle to play with while you’re away. Give it to them matter-of-factly, so as not to get them revved up before you leave.
  • Similarly, you can give them a special toy that they only get when they’re alone. When you come home, be sure to put the toy away so they cannot get to it on their own.
  • Leave the TV turned on to a nature channel or kids’ show or turn the radio on to classical music or another soothing channel so your pet has something to listen to while you’re away.
  • If your pet starts to get anxious at your departure cues (picking up your keys, getting dressed for work, grabbing your purse, etc.) start to perform these routines randomly without leaving your home to normalize your pet to them.
  • If your pet suffers from severe separation anxiety where these tips don’t seem to help, please talk to your veterinarian. We can prescribe the right anti-anxiety medication to help them stay calm while you continue to work on training with them to further reduce their anxiety.

Contact our animal hospital at (847) 966-3080 with any questions or concerns about pet separation anxiety!